Creating Engaging Book Displays

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CREATING GOOD BETTER AWESOME ENGAGING DISPLAYSSusan BrownChapel Hill Public Library#bookdisplays

Explanation of title

Not just good or pretty or fun, displays serve a purpose!

Definition of engagement covered in later slide

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WHAT YOULL LEAVE WITHUnderstanding of value of displays

Basics of engaging display content

Basics of engaging display design

Creative ideas from me and you!

Why we do displays

What items to put on display

How to create display signage

Topics/themes for displays

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http://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/twenty-rules-for-better-book-displays

Started on blog with ten

Wrote it for novelist with 20

When I review my blog stats, it is not Facebook or Twitter or content marketing that readers are most interested in. Hands down, the most popular post ever on my blog one that readers find while perusing the archive or by googling for information on the topic is "Ten Tips for Better Book Displays".

The Google search terms that lead people to the post include "how to make a good book display," "library book display ideas," and "better book displays for libraries." This information leads me to two conclusions - 1) libraries are doing book displays and 2) librarians want to make them better. I write a lot about social media engagement, but it is clear that even in the digital era of e-books and Pinterest, visually appealing physical displays with interesting topics are still a great way to engage readers.

Its also clear that a lot of folks want some help with them, so hopefully this session today will do just that!3

WHY DO WE DO DISPLAYS?Increase circulationHighlight underused collectionsBetter serve browsersCelebrate holidays/special events

Why do you do them???

-Ive presented this session at a variety of libraries and workshops and I always ask why people do displays. These are the answers I most often get.

-ASK for participants to chime in why they do them if for another reason

-These are all good reasons, but I think they relate back to another, overarching reason:

- Position the library as a place that cares about readers/browsers/customers4

Its all about DISCOVERYIn an era where readers can find discover books in the supermarket, on their iPhone, via Amazon, and from social sites such as Goodreads and Pinterest, we need to make sure that libraries are engaged in book discovery and consider it a priority. Engaging book displays are just one way of helping readers discover great books.

DISCOVERY

This goes back to positioning ourselves as a destination for readers (and listeners and viewers)5

And CUSTOMER EXPERIENCEBut it is our collections of circulating books and materials that are our most visible attributes and most effective components in providing a rewarding experience to our visitors. So it is essential that they be arranged in ways that make them easy to find and also irresistible to browse.

-Anythink Visual Branding Guidelines

ANYTHINK gets it!

Engaging displays make for a better customer experience. Imagine going into a bookstore that had no displays. Just rows and rows of books. Hard to imagine, right?

Displays are just one of the many touch points that comprise the total customer/user/patron experience in the library.

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And ENGAGEMENT!

En/gage:a)to hold the attention of: b)to induce to participate:

And yes, ultimately its about engagment!

Engagement is a word that is used often but rarely defined.

En/gage: a) to hold the attention of b) to induce to participate

Spine out books do not hold attentionCluttered, unfocused displays do not grab or hold attentionBrowsers/users looking for something to hold their attention

Participate might mean pick up the book and actually check it outParticipate might mean grabbing a bookmark off the display for next timeParticipate might mean..

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22 Photos of, 34 Ideas for, and 20+ Rules for Creating Engaging Displays

And yes, ultimately its about engagment!

Engagement is a word that is used often but rarely defined.

En/gage: a) to hold the attention of b) to induce to participate

Spine out books do not hold attentionCluttered, unfocused displays do not grab or hold attentionBrowsers/users looking for something to hold their attention

Participate might mean pick up the book and actually check it outParticipate might mean grabbing a bookmark off the display for next timeParticipate might mean..

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1. Displays should reflectyour patrons' interests, not your personal interests. You might be fascinatedbyancient Japanese sword fighting orthe history of dominos, but that doesn't mean that books on those topics will make a gooddisplay.

This is a direct corollary to the best piece of RA advice I ever got - Its not about you!

Its about what the reader wants from a display what people are interested in, what people are talking about. NOT what you are interested in or what you want to talk about.

Doesnt mean your passion cant inspire display, just means that you should generalize it a might more:

For example,

So, it follows that9

GAME NIGHT

ludopieces by ajmint, CC SA 3.0

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2. Displays should be popular. While a fair amount of time might be spent filling a display fixture, the ultimate goal is for that fixture to be empty. If, after a day or so, the same books are still on the display unit, consider a new topic.

One measure of success with displays is that they are empty!

Your approach to displays should be flexible enough that if something isnt working, it can be easily changed

FLEXIBILITY IS KEY!11

3. Don't limit yourself to books.Whenever possible, include a mix ofaudiobooks, DVDs, and even CDs. Or only audiobooks, DVDS, and CDs.

I dont know of a library out there in 2015 that only has print books.

There MIGHT be a patron or two who ONLY check out print books, but Id wager that they overwhelming majority of users check out lots of different formats.

So be sure to include them on your displays!

OR ONLY MEDIA DISPLAYS

Examples music genre, Audie Award, audiobooks for families, grammy winners

Other ideas?12

4. The books (or movies or cds) should be the stars of the display.Chooseitemswith fresh, visually appealingcovers in good condition. Buckram bindings should never, ever be on display.

Well talk about how important signage is in just a bit thats what should draw them in, but the items on display are what should shine.

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Buckram

Dated Cover

Barcode on front (example form Library I worked at)14

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5. While the books are the stars, eye-catching visual signage is extremely important. This does not require bells and whistles or a graphic design degree. In fact, when it comes to display signage, less is more.

Look at signs in stores, banks, restaraunts, etc

Here are a few basics16

Incorporate white space into the sign design.

Alternately, consider filling up the canvas with one great image.

Use fewer words rather than more: if you need a full sentence to explain what the display is about, you need to re-think the idea.

Choose card stock over construction paper and simple color palettesover neon and glitter.

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Good topic interesting books but sign is

Cluttered

Hard to read, lots of words

White Space19

Still uses finger print

Hones in on CSI

Uses graphic that is familiar from pop culture

Intriguing, engaging, easy to read20

TRUE CRIMEScrime scene tape by ash photoholic, CC BY 2.0

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FALL

feuille rouge by ash monnaiux, CC SA 3.0

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TURKEY DAYpumpkin pie by brownies for dinner, CC BY 2.0

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6. Choose a simple, readable font over an intricate one.A few fonts I would suggest removing permanently from your display repertoire: Algerian, Bauhaus, Comic Sans, Jokerman, Old English, Ravie, and Snap.

You never see stores using these fonts, so why should libraries use them? 25

SerifSans Serif

Retail merchandisers know that crisp, modern sans-serif fonts are highly readable and visually engaging.

Some good ones to use on your next sign include Arial, Helvetica, or Century Gothic.

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Algerian BauhausComic Sans JokermanOld English Ravie SnapArialCalifornianCentury GothicHigh TowerTimes New RomanPoor Richard Verdana

Retail merchandisers know that crisp, modern sans-serif fonts are highly readable and visually engaging.

Some good ones to use on your next sign include Arial, Helvetica, or Century Gothic.

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You don't have to choose between serif and sans serif fonts, but do make sure they coordinate with the display. Book Antiqua would not go well with a display of graphic novels, but would work nicely with a Classic Fiction display.

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Austen & AfterAusten & AfterAusten & AfterAusten & After

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Austen & After

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Austen & After

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HAUNTED HOUSESHAUNTED HOUSES

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HAUNTED HOUSES

These books will keep you up all night!

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HAUNTED HOUSES

haunted house by barbara, CC BY 2.0

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7. If there is an iconor otherkey visual element associated with the theme of the display, be sure to include it in the signage. This might be a logo or a symbol or simply an author's photo. It may be all the sign needs.

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Talk about fixtures and plexi vs foamcore38

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Talk about imagesstretchingHi resLogo will inform font choice if any40

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8. Use props judiciously. You want browsers to interact with the display by taking items off. You don't want them to feel that if they do that, they will be messing up a work of art.

A single bicycle wheel propped next to the sign for a display about cycling. A small vintage suitcase can serve as the stand for the sign for a travel display. Choose one element over lots of smaller tchotchkes.

Tim Gunn quote42

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9. You want them to check display items out, so make it clear that they can. This may be obvious to us, but it is not always so for our customers.

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Here, the sticker that is used on display books is incorporated into the small signage that is included in the display

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Here, the sticker that is used on display books is incorporated into the small signage that is included in the display

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10. Add value. A great way to add value to a book display is to include a bookmark with further reading, listening, or viewing.

Little more work, but can be really greatDo you do this?Nancy going to talk a little about Novelist and Library Aware are working on something like this50

For a "Back to School" display, consider including a small book mark with "Ten Great Books about Academia" on one side and "Ten Great Movies about Academia" on the reverse. Even after the book display is dismantled, readers can still enjoy the topic.

Nordic NoirShort StoriesRead Alikes

Would have removed some tsochtckes!

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11. Cross promote. Readers who find your displays interesting might also enjoy your library's book blog or be interested in resources like NoveList or NextReads email newsletters. Consider a small sign that points them to these resources.

Nonfiction displays could link to resources

Travel display could contain info about Mango Languages or pronuncitor

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12. Use Chase's Calendar of Events judiciously. While the list of special months might be interesting and might appeal to our urges to inform and educate, our displays should be popular, not pedantic or preachy.

Many librarians turn to this standard reference work for inspiration for monthly displays. While the list of special months might be interesting (and sometimes hilarious -- see Rule #20) and might appeal to our urges to inform and educate, our displays should be popular, not pedantic or preachy. Is it interesting that January isClean Up Your ComputerMonth, Glaucoma Awareness Month, and International Creativity Month? Maybe. Were millions of people watching Downton Abbey during January, clamoring for more books and movies just like it? Definitely.

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Yes, we should highlight special months and causes. And yes, our displays should be relevant and interesting.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, display stayed fullAt the same time, everyone was talking about Downton Abbey!

Also, take a chance to be creative about these special displays:

Black History Month Jimi Hendrix,

Comment about diversity LGBTQ month, ALSO INCLUDE LGBTQ authors in your everyday displays (same with Af Am, Latino, etc.)54

National Chicken Month

chickens by christine paulus, CC BY 2.0

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13. Let pop culture inspire your displays. Leveraging pop culture demonstrates that libraries are fresh, fun, and relevant, not stodgy, serious, or old-fashioned.

Remember, displays should be popular (Rule #1 and #2) and fun (Rule #20). Who doesn't love Shark Week?

How about a display of "If You like Downton Abbey" with books and movies? Leading up to the Academy Awards, how about a display called "And the Oscar Goes to" that features Oscar-winning movies, biographies of Oscar-winning actors, and nonfiction about Hollywood personalities and politics? And seriously, who doesn't love Shark Week? Leveraging pop culture demonstrates that libraries are fresh, fun, and relevant, not stodgy, serious, or old-fashioned.57

IDEAS?Whats going on now?

Internet memes for cat displayWalking Dead, Breaking BadNerd & Hipsters58

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14. Let current events inspire your displays. Displays - like libraries - should be responsive and relevant. Stay in tune with the local and national news.

In late 2012, everyone was talking about the "fiscal cliff." This would have been a perfect time to put up a display of books about personal finance or economics. In the weeks leading up to the election, a "Presidents & Politics" display would have been great, with popular non-fiction about presidents, fictional accounts of presidents, and movies and TV shows like The West Wing, All the President's Men, or the HBO adaptation of John Adams.

Shows youre releveant and responsiveSignage doesnt have to be difficult

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15. Let your community inspire your displays. Is this year the centennial of your town's founding? Consider a local history display. Is the local theater opening a production of Hair? Consider a display of books about the 1960s that also promotes the production.

You can add value to a display like this by asking the theater to contribute free tickets for a promotional giveaway.

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16. Consider moving beyond tightly themed displays to more general ones that can be used anytime or continuously:

Staff PicksPatron PicksPeople You Should Meet Greatest Hits of the ____ (insert decade)Good Books You May Have MissedAward WinnersWhat Your Neighbors Are ReadingGenresOther ideas?

- Could make great signage that could be used over and ove...